Martineau's chief endeavour was, as he himself says, to interpret, to vindicate, and to systematize the moral sentiments, and if the actual exhibition of what is involved, e.g., in moral choice is the vindication of morality Martineau may be said to have been successful.
It is impossible, e.g., to accept his ordered hierarchy of " springs of action " without perceiving that the real principle upon which they can be arranged in order at all must depend upon considerations of circumstances and consequences, of stations and duties, with which a strict intuitionalism such as that of Martineau would have no dealing.'
And Martineau is curiously unsympathetic to the universal and social aspect of morality with which evolutionary and idealist moral philosophers are so largely occupied.
Martineau is much more in sympathy with idealism than Sidgwick, whose work consists in a restatement from a novel and independent standpoint of the Utilitarian position.
Martineau, Types of Ethical Theory (Oxford, 1885, 3rd ed.